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Oral history interview with Frank Ephraim

Oral History | Accession Number: 1997.A.0419 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0068

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Franz Gunter Ephraim, born February 19, 1931 in the Schöneberg district of Berlin, Germany, describes his family and being raised Jewish but not Orthodox; living an integrated life in the community until 1937 and his participation in the 1936 Olympics events; how Kristallnacht was the impetus for his family immigrating to the Philippines; attending a Hebrew school in Manila before the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines; the politics in Manila; experiencing an open Jewish life; their favorite playing areas, holidays, their several living spaces, and the daily routine in Manila; the attack on Pearl Harbor and his memories of the alarms, airplanes, gas masks, and lack of school for about a year; how after the US declared war there were more air raids and an exodus from the Philippines began; how the US was closed to Jews who still had family in Germany and Europe and his family could not go to the US; the Japanese invasion of the Philippines; the many wartime restrictions, including food shortages, looting, changes in currency, and a new governmental organization; how 1944 was the year when things were really deteriorated and the people were starving; the daily air raids from B24 bombers; the Japanese systematically burning down the city of Manila; how February 1945 brought total chaos and there was no food for several weeks; the liberation of Manila by US forces; leaving the Philippines on November 19, 1946; arriving in San Francisco, CA where relatives were waiting for them, along with HIAF; the closeness of the Manila Jewish community in San Francisco; attending UC Berkeley until the Korean War when he was drafted into the Army and sent to Europe as an interpreter; becoming a US citizen in 1952; his philosophy that the importance of Jews as a nation is far more important than Jews as a religion and that self-reliance is the most important quality to have; graduating from UC Berkeley in 1957; and working for a naval architect specializing in submarines, United Airlines, and the Maritime Administration in Washington, DC.

Interviewee
Frank Ephraim
Interviewer
Nancy Alper
Date
1997 February 28  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
8 sound cassettes (74 min.).
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:54:50
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507565